Today’s reading is the 10th chapter of Mark. There are so many topics and lessons packed into this chapter that’s it’s difficult to focus on one for today’s devotion! Jesus talks about divorce, wealth, his upcoming death and resurrection, and heals a blind man.
Verses 13-16 are my focus today.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
I love to imagine what it must have looked like to see Jesus surrounded by a group of children vying for his attention, excited to see him, calling out his name, wanting to sit on his lap and hug his neck. The disciples must have thought Jesus was much too busy and important for this. The word in this version describes Jesus’ response to the disciples rebuking the children as “indignant” – how dare they send away the little children! Not only did Jesus want them to be near to him, he then tells us that the children are a faith standard. I think of this often when talking about Jesus with my children. They aren’t worried about theology, commentaries, scientific proof, etc.
Instead, they focus on the simple truths and cling to them. God is everywhere. God sees and hears everything. God forgives us when we’re sorry. God wants us to obey, but loves us even when we don’t. God knows ALL the animals in the whole world. God is always with us, even when we’re scared or having a bad dream.
As I think of the different conversations I’ve had with little people about Jesus, I’m struck at how much they know so early on. They aren’t riddled with doubt about his existence or omnipotence – they simply accept it as fact and embrace the amazing truth of his love.
Try looking at Jesus through the eyes of a child today. Think of how awesome his creation is, how exciting his promise of eternal life is, and how sweet it is to know for sure we have a Father watching out for us all the time.